NY Mets manager takes blame for end of World Series title dream

Jim Slater
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Baseball - Mets keep manager Collins through 2017, GM faints

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Curtis Granderson #3 of the New York Mets is greeted by manager Terry Collins #10 of the New York Mets in the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals during Game Five of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field on November 1, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Elsa/Getty Images/AFP (AFP Photo/Elsa)

New York (AFP) - New York Mets manager Terry Collins blamed himself for his team squandering a late lead for the second time in as many nights Sunday in losing the World Series to Kansas City.

A night after the Royals rallied in the eighth to win with the Mets a handful of outs away from pulling level in Major League Baseball's best-of-seven final, the Mets surrendered two tying runs in the ninth inning and five more in the 12th to fall 7-2 and drop the series four games to one.

Collins took the blame for leaving starting pitcher Matt Harvey on the mound into the ninth inning after he kept the Royals scoreless for eight innings and scattered only four hits as the Mets led 2-0.

Lorenzo Cain walked and Eric Hosmer doubled and by the time Collins inserted closing relief ace Jeurys Familia, the Royals had scored one run and were poised to add another, which they did later on an errant toss from first baseman Lucas Duda trying to stop Hosmer from scoring at home plate.

"It was my fault," Collins said. "I've got one of the greatest closers in baseball. I got him in the game a little late. That's inexcusable for me."

Harvey asked to stay in and the crowd were cheering for him to hurl a complete game.

"In a situation like that you do not want to give up the ball," Harvey said.

But Collins said his heart overrode his better sense of the moment.

"Sometimes you let your heart dictate your mind," Collins said. "Matt will tell you different because he's a tremendous human being. He's going to say how he wanted to be out there and should be out there. But if you put Jeurys in and he would have gave up the two runs, 'Well, you should have left Harvey.'

"I know how it goes. I won't be sleeping much the next couple of days, I'll tell you that."

Collins replayed the dugout talk when he wanted to remove Harvey.

"I told him that was enough. And he just came over and said, 'I want this game. I want it bad. You've got to leave me in.' I said, 'Matt, you've got us exactly where we wanted.' He said, 'I want this game in the worst way.'

"So obviously I let my heart get in the way of my gut. I love my players. And I trust them. And so I said, 'Go get 'em out.' When the double hit, that's when I said, I've got to see if we can get out of this with only one run. And it didn't work."

Collins said the crowd chanting for Harvey was not a factor.

"When you looked in this kid's eyes, when he came off that inning, and I mean, he has been through a tough summer. He has been beaten down, and I just trusted him. I said, 'You got it. You've earned this.'

"So it's my fault. It's not his. That's who he is. I know better than that. I know that he wants the ball. He never wants to come out and he was pitching great. This was my fault."

The Mets have not won the World Series since 1986 while the Royals ended a 30-year title drought with the victory.

Collins takes some consolation in seeing the Royals bounce back from a World Series defeat last year, saying the best from his young club is yet to come.

"They learned what it's like to play in October and they're going to be a lot better because of this experience," Collins said.